Flea-glass telescope

This instrument, which is made of bone, unscrews into six parts which can be assembled into different optical instruments. It can be used as a telescope, but when the barrel is unscrewed a simple microscope, or flea-glass, is also revealed. Using this, a specimen stuck on the pin can be viewed through the small lens.

The other accessories include a sun lens and a multiplying lens, which creates multiple images of the object viewed. This type of multi-purpose object was common around 1700.

Object Details

ID: NAV1555
Collection: Astronomical and navigational instruments
Type: Flea-glass telescope
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Unknown
Date made: circa 1700
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Measurements: Length: 132 mm (assembled); Diameter: 33 mm (max), 21 mm (min)
Parts: Flea-glass telescope

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